Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer salads: cucumber salad & avacado salad on crostini

A couple of light and delicious salads that I've made multiple times this summer: cucumber and dill salad and avocado "salad."

delicious and refreshing cucumber and dill salad

I've made the cucumber salad a couple of times - trying to replicate what my mom made when I was little. And the avocado salad was really just an excuse to eat a perfectly ripe avocado in a simple, but delicious, way. Both can be made to your particular taste - they are perfect for just winging it.

Cucumber Salad with Dill (all of my measurements are approximates)
2 English cucumbers, sliced very thinly (if you only have regular cucumbers, slice them lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a spoon)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
drizzle of olive oil (optional)

I used an awesome Benriner mandoline from Japan to slice my cucumbers. If you don't have a mandoline, just slice them very thinly with a sharp knife.

Put the cucumber slices into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.

Chill for several hours or overnight to let the cucumbers pickle a bit. (I don't bother to drain my cucumbers until right before serving. If you prefer to drain your cucumbers, slice and add the salt, let sit for 30 minutes, then drain; add the remaining ingredients.) Enjoy!

ingredients for the cucumber salad - simple and delicious

my awesome Benriner mandoline

it slices the cucumber so thin you can almost see through it!

the mandoline made quick work of 2 cucumbers

add in the remaining ingredients and stir well

so refreshing on a hot summer day!

Another delicious "salad" I made several times this summer is this avocado salad. It's so easy.

Avocado Salad
1-2-3 ripe avocados (or however many you plan to serve)
squeeze of lemon (or lime) juice
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of flaky sea salt (I used my fancy sea salt I bought this spring in Iceland...perfect!)

Cut each avocado in half, lengthwise; remove pit.

With the avocado half still in the skin, slice into 1/4" slices (or however thick you prefer). Using a large spoon, slide it between the avocado flesh and skin to easily lift your slices out.

Gently fan the slices on a plate or platter and squeeze the lemon (or lime) juice over the slices. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the avocado and finish with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Serve with a loaf of fresh bread or crostini. Just looking at these pictures is making me hungry!

perfectly ripe avocado slices

so delicious (and healthy)!

Bye for now...

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